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Assignment | Literary Analysis (Barr): MLA Citations

Prof. Christine Barr | ENGL 1302 (Spring 2022)

Sample Citations

Works Cited

All MLA citations follow the same checklist of elements to include. Is something missing? Just skip over it.

AuthorLast, AuthorFirst. “Article Title.” Name of Container, verbed by Some Contributor, version, number, Publisher Name, date, location. Second Container, location. Supplemental note.

In Text Citations

In-text citations are the abbreviated form of the Works Cited citations: just enough for your reader to know which source a detail originally came from without taking up too much space inside your paper.

Use the first element of the citation -- typically an author last name. (Shouldn't come up for this assignment, but if there's no author, you'll use the start of the source title instead.)



Citation info is tacked on to the end of the sentence inside parentheses. If there is a specific page number in the source you can use, include that.

No page number? No problem -- it'll just be the author name. MLA doesn't want you to count paragraphs or make up page numbers... not even a "1" for a single web page.

Parenthetical citation: (AuthorLast). (AuthorLast #).



Narrative in-text citations place the author inside the sentence instead of leaving for the parentheses. There are some extra rules to note here!

  1. If you're quoting someone who was not the author of the overall work, you'll still need a parenthetical citation.
  2. If there's a page number, that will still come at the end of the sentence, away from the author.
  3. The first time you namedrop someone, you should give their full name and, usually, a brief description of who they are. "Folklorist Jack Santino writes..." not just "Santino says..."
    1. After that you can just use the last name only variation, though.
Narrative citation: Edgar Allan Poe uses repetition to blah blah blah. Literary scholarly Jane Doe suggests that Poe something something (45).

There are (at least) a couple ways we can cite these stories, since they've been published and republished. Note, though, that our parenthetical citations still all reflect the original author in these examples.

Which of these examples is correct? All of them. Each example makes the most sense for its particular context -- how it was republished and republished, and how much info the republishing source told us.
Ugh, that's confusing. Yeah, sorry. Work with what you've got, keeping in mind that you're mostly trying to get someone else to the same version of the story you looked at. You can always hit that "ask" button to the right. :)

Simplest: One Container, Treated Like a Regular Article

Here I've written the citation based on what was on the website, no more no less, even though clearly a 1948 story would not have been posted online originally...but honestly it'd look clunkier to try splitting it up, since New Yorker is the container both originally and currently.

Jackson, Shirley. "The Lottery." The New Yorker, 26 June 1948,

Parenthetical citation: (Jackson).

Medium Complexity: One Container, Supplemental Date

Here I've included the original publication date (1898) in a "supplemental element" slot after the title of source. I also added an access date since the website didn't say when it was posted.

Chopin, Kate. "The Storm." 1898., Accessed 7 Feb. 2022.

Parenthetical citation: (Chopin).

More Complex: Two Containers

In this example, because original publication info was noted alongside the republication info, I started my citation with info about the first New Yorker iteration, followed by info about the webpage I actually looked at to read it.

Barthelme, Donald. "I Bought a Little City." The New Yorker, Nov. 1974. The Dallas Morning News, 30 Aug. 2014,

Parenthetical citation: (Barthelme).

Hint: The databases have pretty good premade citations! Keep an eye out for the buttons to show you MLA citations... and then double-check against the template, because "pretty good" is not "perfect."

Cushman, Keith. "D. H. Lawrence at Work: The Making of 'Odour of Chrysanthemums.'" Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 2, no. 3, Indiana UP, 1971, pp. 367–92. JSTOR,

Parenthetical citation: (Cushman). (Cushman 372). (Cushman 389-90).


Toth, Emily. "Kate Chopin's New Orleans Years." Nineteenth-Century Literature Criticism, edited by Kathy D. Darrow, vol. 216, Gale, 2010. Gale Literature Resource Center, Originally published in New Orleans Review, vol. 15, no. 1, Spring 1988, pp. 53-60.

Parenthetical citation: (Toth).


Formatting - Works Cited Page

This list of sources should be...

  • its own separate page from your paper.
  • titled Works Cited in MLA (not Sources, not References, etc), no added formatting like bold or italics.
  • alphabetized by the first word in each citation.
  • organized with a hanging indent for skimmability. (See the next tab of this box for formatting tips and info!)

All three major citation styles (MLA, APA, and Chicago) want a hanging indent for the full citation list that comes at the end of your paper. Your citations would each follow the shape of the shaded area below:


This is so your reader can easily match sources to your parenthetical citations (which are whatever sticks out first on the little tail) without having to read deeper into the citations, and this way each citation is visually distinct from the others in the list.

1. Ctrl + T  (or Cmd + T)

The absolute fastest and easiest way!

  1. Highlight your citation(s).
  2. Hit Ctrl + T (or in you're on a Mac, Command + T).
  3. Bam. It should automatically format the citation with the correct half-inch indent.

2. Paragraph Settings (or Line Spacing Options)

If something goes wrong -- like you do the shortcut but the indent is the wrong size -- or keyboard shortcuts just aren't your thing, try this out. Two different places to click, but same settings panel.

  1. Highlight your citation(s).
  2. Look at the cluster of Paragraph options in the Word toolbar, just to the right of your regular font settings. You can open up Paragraph Settings with (a) the little arrow at the bottom-right of that space, or you can (b) choose Line Spacing Options from the spacing button.
  3. Choose Indentation: Special and make sure it's set to 0.5". (While you're there, you might as well make sure line spacing is set to double with 0 extra spacing before or after.) (Unless you're doing Chicago Style, in which case you want single space with space after.) 

MLA Resources

MLA Online Guide

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Additional Resources: